What does Romans 14:19 mean?
ESV: So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
NIV: Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
NASB: So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
CSB: So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.
NLT: So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
KJV: Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
NKJV: Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Verse Commentary:
This sums up what Paul has written in the previous verses. He is urging those who are strong in faith to be willing to set aside the open exercise of their freedom in Christ, if necessary, to keep from harming the faith and obedience of those who are less strong. For example, believers should be willing to forego eating meat if that will keep those "weak in faith" (Romans 14:1–2) from stumbling into violating their own conscience.

This willingness to defer our own rights, to set aside our freedom in Christ for the sake of others, is itself a service to Christ. It results in peace and encouragement for everyone. Paul urges these strong Christians to pursue that peace and mutual encouragement by setting themselves aside for the good of their brothers and sisters.

As with other verses in this chapter, Paul's point here is not to give more legalism-minded believers the right to police the actions of all other Christians (Colossians 2:16–23). Christians do not lose their liberty because of the opinions of others (Romans 14:3; 1 Corinthians 10:29–30). Rather, they ought to discern the difference between exercising freedom and abusing it.
Verse Context:
Romans 14:13–23 instructs strong-faith Christians who understand that all food and drink is clean for those who are in Christ to be willing to set aside indulging their freedom for the sake of weaker-faith Christians. Those who cannot partake in good conscience—even though they are free in Christ to do so—should not do so. To violate their conviction is sin. It is also wrong for strong-faith Christians to tempt weaker-faith brothers and sisters into sin by insisting on exercising their own right to eat and drink those things.
Chapter Summary:
In Romans 14, Paul tackles the question of how Christians with different convictions about disputable matters should treat each other in the church. Strong-faith Christians who feel free to eat and drink what was formerly forbidden under the law of Moses should not flaunt their freedoms in front of weaker-faith Christians who are not convinced it is right to participate in those things. Neither group should judge the other. Those strong in their faith should rather yield than lead those weaker in faith to violate their conscience, which is a sin.
Chapter Context:
Paul turns from the black-and-white instructions about light and darkness in Romans 13 to the issue of disputable matters with the potential to divide the church. Paul instructs those who feel free to participate in activities formally forbidden under the law not to flaunt their freedom in front of those who, by conscience, still believe those actions to be wrong. Those strong-faith Christians should be willing to set aside their freedom to keep from leading their weaker brothers and sisters into sin by violating their convictions. Paul addresses this topic with additional comments in 1 Corinthians chapter 10.
Book Summary:
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
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